Press Releases

  • 2D fluorescence probe from Fraunhofer ILT monitors water treatment in sewage treatment plants / 2024

    Laser immersion probe for smart inline monitoring of water and wastewater

    Press Release / May 02, 2024

    The 2D fluorescence probe developed at the Fraunhofer ILT is a central building block for inline water and wastewater monitoring.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    A new type of laser-based immersion probe, which the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen is testing as part of BMBF- and EU-funded projects with industrial partners and users, could pave the way for continuous inline monitoring of water treatment processes in wastewater treatment plants. The 2D fluorescence measurement method generates spectroscopic data directly on site in the clarifier. In conjunction with intelligent evaluation software, this process is the key to energy- and resource-efficient water treatment. It will be presented to the public for the first time at IFAT 2024, the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management in Munich.

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  • Harnessing Machine Learning for Breakthroughs with High-Power Lasers

    Press release of the ELI Beamlines Facility | The Extreme Light Infrastructure ERIC from April 26, 2024 / April 30, 2024

    International team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Fraunhofer ILT and ELI - Extreme Light Infrastructure at the ELI Beamlines Facility, Prague, Czech Republic.
    © ELI ERIC.

    A team of international scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, and the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) collaborated on an experiment to optimise high-intensity high-repetition rate laser technology using machine learning. The experiment represents a significant leap forward in the study, understanding, and practical application of high-intensity lasers.

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  • AKL - International Laser Technology Congress 2024 in Aachen / 2024

    "Huge, completely untapped markets for photonics"

    Press Release / April 22, 2024

    Discussion round with the speakers in the Gerd Herziger Session of the AKL’24.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Andreas Steindl.

    The AKL - International Laser Technology Congress 2024 fully confirmed its reputation as the leading forum for the European laser industry: There were 525 participants and 81 speakers from 21 countries, a fully booked exhibition accompanying the conference and 60 "Laser Technology Live" demonstrations in the laboratories of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and RWTH Aachen University. The congress focused on innovations for established laser applications as well as potential billion-euro markets of the future – including cyberphotonics, quantum technologies and laser-ignited inertial fusion energy (IFE). Once again, the Gerd Herziger Session was a highlight.

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  • Joint project PriFUSIO explores technological paths to commercialize inertial fusion / 2024

    New foundation for laser fusion research

    Press Release / April 16, 2024

    Fusion energy: clean and virtually inexhaustible energy source of the future
    © Shutterstock.

    Boost for Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) in Germany: The PriFUSIO research project aims to systematically develop key technologies for climate-neutral fusion power plants of the future. The consortium, led by the ILT in Aachen, brings together fusion start-ups, medium-sized companies, large corporations, the Laser Zentrum Hannover, and the Fraunhofer Institutes IOF in Jena and ILT in Aachen, creating a diverse collaboration of industry and public research institutions. The project will focus on principles for targeted component development and explore practical photonic approaches for the commercial utilization of laser-driven IFE. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has allocated 18 million euros for the project over the next three years.

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  • The dawn of laser-based optics production

    Press Release / April 10, 2024

    A fused silica optic before and after laser polishing.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The optical industry almost completely relies on mechanical processes in its process chains. This, however, could soon change. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen is pushing ahead with digitally controlled laser processes that save both time and costs when aspheres and freeform optics are shaped, polished and their final shape is corrected. Fraunhofer ILT will be presenting the laser-based process chains of the future at the OPTATEC trade fair from May 14 to 16, 2024 in Frankfurt and at the 1st Aachen Conference “Laser-based Optics Production“ on October 15 to 16, 2024.

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  • 2-stage laser drying with a laser spot length of over 0.8m in the roll-to-roll battery drying system.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Innovative process technology enables energy-efficient drying of anodes and cathodes while at the same time reducing space requirements. As part of the IDEEL research project (Implementation of Laser Drying Processes for Economical & Ecological Lithium-Ion Battery Production), project partners from industry and research are developing a laser drying process for the more climate-friendly and economical serial production of lithium-ion batteries. Now, for the first time, the process has been successfully scaled up to a coating and drying speed of 5 m/min in a continuous process, proving that industrial implementation is technically possible and economically viable.

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  • Manufacturing Technologies for the Future of the European Space Industry

    Press Release from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft / April 04, 2024

    Successful launch of Ariane 5.
    © ESA/CNES/Arianespace.

    Outer space has never before seemed so close, with spaceflight hovering within reach. To enhance the competitiveness of European space transportation systems, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are developing innovative manufacturing technologies for rocket components in the ENLIGHTEN project. The researchers will be presenting their results at the Hannover Messe (Hall 2, Booth B24) from April 22 to 26, 2024.

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  • Laser technology and AI boost the circular economy

    Press Release / March 27, 2024

    Components or modules are analyzed with LIBS in order to secure valuable raw materials in electronic waste. After excitation with a high-energy laser pulse, plasma is formed from which the “atomic fingerprint” of the material can be read using spectroscopy.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The recycling industry is increasingly relying on laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to identify reusable raw materials in waste streams. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen is playing a leading role in developing this highly precise technology for element analysis and is continuously expanding its range of applications.

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  • The LIFTOSCOPE combines high-speed microscopy, AI-based analysis and localization of living cells and cell clusters with laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT). The laser is coupled directly into the beam path of the microscope via mirrors. Users can switch between camera observation and the LIFT process.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Tests on living cell cultures are becoming increasingly important for personalized medicine, drug development and clinical research. The Aachen-based Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT and for Production Technology IPT have developed an AI-assisted high-throughput process that now makes it possible to automatically isolate specific cell types. Using a so-called LIFTOSCOPE, laboratories can localize, identify and analyze dozens of living cells per second in order to transfer them to microtiter plates with laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT). At analytica 2024 in Munich, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will be presenting the innovative process to the public for the first time in Hall A3, Booth 407.

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  • Dr. Alexander Olowinsky, Fraunhofer ILT: "Advanced laser technology not only stands up to the competition in terms of precision, but also in terms of cost-effectiveness and sustainability."
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The sixth Laser Symposium Electromobility (LSE 24), organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in January 2024, provided impetus for sustainable and economical production of electric vehicles. Seventy participants from industry and research came together to discuss laser-based manufacturing methods, particularly for the production of battery modules and packs. The key message from Aachen: Cleverly applied laser precision is not a luxury, rather a tangible competitive advantage.

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